• Currently coveting

    We're trying something new on Dirt Couture: Mainstream apparel but with a gardener's groove. First up - these super-soft alpaca ponchos. Easy to slip on on chilly summer nights. Cowl neck for extra warmth.

  • Don’t miss Free Fridays

    One of our most popular features is "Free stuff Fridays" when we give away all sorts of garden things from books to seeds to garden gadgets.
    Join the fun every Friday.

  • Grow food not lawns

    As commercial growers pump out more bland, backyard gardeners are getting good at growing their own. Find out about edibles, including chickens here

  • An eye for design

    Plants, rocks and pots are all good. It's how you put them together that counts. Check out our design posts for an eyeful of ideas

July 23, 2014

The Five Million Dollar Rose

A fun fact to lug out the next time someone suggests you’re spending too much on plants—the Juliet rose cost $5 million. Okay, that’s not the price of a single rose bush, but it’s the estimated expense of the 15 years David Austin spent developing the popular rose.

Nature—-(Video) UC Davis says sunflowers are not just heliotropic but have their own internal clocks.



July 7, 2014

The crafty gardener

So….it turns out that you can craft stepping stones to your heart’s content with a product called Garden Molds. Beyond stepping stones, the company offers molds for pot feet, edging and plaques. Plus tutorials!

Think of the possibilities. Think of how many summer days you have make things. Think of the side business you can launch.

Daily Mail—Japanese scientist discovered with a bit of genetic modification how to make flowers live twice as long


July 2, 2014

Addams Family - the plant

Cousin Itt wasn’t one of my favorite characters on the Addams Family TV show, but the plant named after him, Acacia cognata ‘Cousin Itt’ couldn’t be cuter. This low growing shrub was introduced by Ball in 2010. According to San Marcos Growers, it thrives in sun or shade, in a pot or in the ground and tolerates drought like an out-of-work actor.

And unlike its namesake, it’s a looker.

Keloland TV —Most common cause of lost fingers says ER docs? Clearing clogged grass in the lawnmower without turning it off


June 30, 2014

You got what it takes

So we’re acknowledging that Dirt du jour readers have some serious design chops. Some of our subscribers are the best in the biz in their regions. And then there are those that keep incredible gardens that are rarely seen by outsiders.

Don’t you think it’s time to show your stuff? Gardenista, the sister publication of Remodelista is collecting entries for their 2014 Design Awards. All categories are open until July 7: Best garden - amateur, Best Small Garden - amateur, Best outdoor living space, Best edible garden, Best hardscape project, Best professional landscape, Best garden shed/outbuilding. Bolded categories have few entries.

Just for fun, let’s see if Dirt du jour peeps can rock this thing.

TheSmokingGun: Spraying weedkiller in the face of neighborhood kids? Felony.


June 25, 2014

Living the succulent lifestyle

In case it’s you - living devoted to all plants that retain water - house numbers that double as planters by Urban Mettle on Etsy.  The plants look…shall we say… a little plugged. But imagine his planters with mature clumps of Hens and Chicks.

Coloradoan —Community garden? Yeah, it’s an eyesore. We want it out.


June 23, 2014

Bowling for dollars

If a fire pit is too permanent for your ever-changing tastes, think about a fire bowl. For a fraction of the cost you can get some flames going to get warm by or roast a few marshmallows.

Prices vary. Use “fire bowl” to search on the Internet. Some fire bowls work with gas line installations, others with a pop-in temporary heat source.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)—Speaking of pits…Brad Pitt says he is a “farmer” now.


June 20, 2014

Dear Orange County gardeners,

I know that not all of my subscribers to Dirt du jour live in Southern California. But for those avid gardeners who know me as the home and garden editor for the Orange County Register, new news: I have “retired” from the newspaper. The company is downsizing, they offered buyouts and I jumped.

In fact, nearly 80 newsroom staff took the offer. Out with the old—in with the new. But what bothers me most about the change is that they killed my farewell column. I feel like I need to let you know since I will have suddenly disappeared from the section after 14 years of weekly stories.

It’s like having tea together and leaving without saying goodbye. Rude after all these years.


June 18, 2014

When carrots aren’t orange

Carrots weren’t always orange. In fact, before they were orange - they were purple. It was the 16th century Dutch bulb people who were responsible for selecting the color orange and tweaking the root crop until it looks like it does today.

Pulptastic —This closed terrarium hasn’t been watered in 42 years.